Elvis Presley Top Dead Earner
Forbes released their annual list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, who have combined to earn $194 million over the last 12 months, October 2007 to October 2008, despite remaining six feet under.
As you might expect, Elvis remains King, representing $52 million in fees. Colonel Parker would be so proud. Meantime, compare that with the top earnings of Justin Timberlake who brought in a merely mortal $44 million. Of course, he didn’t have the sideburns. Or a 30th anniversary of his drug-induced death to flog.
Second place went to Peanuts creator Charles Schulz since the strip and its related licensing continue to generate income.
The newest addition to the list, Heath Ledger, took third place since his own overdose in January. Forbes is estimating that with his cut of The Dark Knight film and merchandise, his estate will bank about $20 million.
Another unfortunate addition is the great Paul Newman, who died in September. With his Newman’s Own line of products sending its cash right to charities, his revenues from his films and other memorabilia tallied up about $5 million.
Marilyn Monroe, forever a tragic icon, made the list for each of its eight years of existence with $6.5 million earned just this past year. Right behind her was James Dean, another relic from the 1950s, who brought in about $5 million. Both were featured in an ad from Mercedes-Benz.